Social Security Benefits + Widow + Military Pension

Background: My dad retired (20 years of service) from the US Army and passed away later at the age of 58. My mom began receiving the survivor's benefit and is currently 58 years old. She worked to meet the criteria for earning her own social security retirement benefits (40 credits). She retired from work a couple years ago and is just living off the survivor's benefit as well as some of her savings.  She is considering retirement options.



  1. Would her receipt of survivor's benefit (from my dad's military pension) be impacted or have an impact on the amount she receives from social security retirement (aka Primary Insurance Amount (PIA))?
  2. I read that the social security benefit offset applies if you are receiving a pension from a government job where you didn't pay into social security taxes.  Does this apply to military pension (especially for the payments the widow is receiving)?
  3. On the social security website, I saw that she had two separate dates for Full Retirement Age (FRA).  The "regular" FRA was 66 years and 10 months but on the page for calculating widows' FRA, it was 66 years and 6 months.  Other than the difference in those two charts, I did not read anywhere of this disparity.  Is there a difference in FRA for widow's vs. regular spouses?
  4. If my mom decides to retire early at age 60.  Would she be receiving reduced portions from my dad's social security, military pension (survivor benefit), or both?

Thanks. Any other advice or suggestions is welcomed! I'm sure there are a lot of other factors I haven't considered yet.


I don't think youbshouldceelynon a private nonprofessional forum for answers to such questions: you need to ask your local Social Security office or telephone the national number. (I believe that you can claim survivor's and then wait until say age 70 and claim your own -- but don't rely on my guess, which is based on my wife's experience.) You could also ask a social security consultant but that would probably not be free.